chapter  5
Courses of Empire 151
By5.1 Pax Romana and Pax Sinica
Pages 36

They lived happily ever after. This familiar ending for stories of strife and toil is not limited to fairy tales. “The end of history” has been proclaimed by twentiethcentury triumphalists at the end of the Cold War.1 Such euphoria, even if not delusory, is short-lived. Like a river emerging from a gorge into a basin, history shorn of turbulent events induces complacency. Yet undercurrents lurk beneath a placid surface and white water may be waiting behind the next bend.